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Harper Government announces support for injury prevention

To promote safe and active play among children and youth

OTTAWA, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa- Orléans, today announced support for projects to reduce the number of sports and recreation-related injuries among children and youth across Canada.

"Many sports and recreational injuries are both predictable and preventable," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Our Government is committed to creating safe sport and recreational environments so that our children and youth can participate in activities that are safe and healthy."

The funding announced today will support three projects across Canada.

Open Water Wisdom, led by the Lifesaving Society, will deliver drowning prevention education programming and distribute life jackets in an effort to reduce incidents of drowning and near drowning among children and youth.

"Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death among children and youth," said Yvan Chalifour, National Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society. "We want to help communities and families enjoy open water activity while managing the risks. We encourage the wearing of lifejackets to reduce the incidence of drowning."

Active and Safe Inuit Children and Youth, led by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, will engage Inuit youth to develop safety messages to be used as part of a safety awareness campaign. Once developed, the messages will be distributed to all 53 northern Inuit communities and to southern cities with large Inuit populations to increase injury prevention knowledge.

"Children and youth living in the North are injured far more often than those living in southern Canada," said Rebecca Kudloo, President of Pauktuutit. "This initiative will provide an opportunity for youth to share ideas on ways they can take part in daily recreational activities safely."

Winter Sport Coach and Official eLearning Module: Brain Safe, led by Speed Skating Canada, will increase safety awareness among coaches so they can pass on this information to children and youth who speed skate, ski and snowboard.

"The coaches, officials and volunteers responsible for delivering sport programs play an important role in creating safe, fun and fair sport and recreation environments that promote lifelong physical activity," said Ian Moss, Chief Executive Officer, Speed Skating Canada. "As community leaders and role models, the safety information they share and behaviours they model make them part of the first line of defence in preventing injuries and helping young Canadians make healthy choices."

"Today's investments will encourage our children and youth to participate in sports and recreational activities that are safe and fun," said Member of Parliament, Royal Galipeau.

Through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Active and Safe initiative, the federal government invests in a number of projects that focus on preventing injuries among children and youth by reaching Canadians in the communities where they live and play. Active and Safe encourages community level action to increase sport and recreation safety awareness.

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